News Release, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office

UPDATE 22/14/2020: LEONARDTOWN, MD – Defendant Marlaena Rochelle Bethea was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to the maximum penalty of ten (10) years in prison for her involvement with the killing of her brother.

State’s Attorney Richard Fritz prosecuted the case and would like to thank the members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department for the successful investigation of the case.

Marlaena Rochelle Bethea, 46 y/o, Washington, D.C.

UPDATE November 27, 2019: On September 9,2019 States Attorney Richard Fritz’s Officer presented evidence to the Grand Jury against Marlaena Rochelle Bethea in connection with the Memorial Day Weekend stabbing of Michael Ross Bethea. Bethea was indicted on First-Degree Murder charges.

On September 11, 2019, an arrest warrant was issued and again on October 10, 2019. On November 25, 2019, the warrant was served. On November 26, 2019, Bethea was ordered held without bond by the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court.

No other court dates are scheduled or list in the case file at this time.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle will bring you updates on the criminal case when they become available. Case Number:C-18-CR-19-000292

On May 26, 2019, at approximately 11:20 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 35800 block of Bay Drive in Chaptico, for the reported stabbing. Responding officers located the victim, later identified as Michael Ross Bethea, age 47 of Washington, D.C. suffering from a stab wound.

Lifesaving measures were attempted by responding officers and emergency personnel, however, Bethea was pronounced deceased on the scene. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and continued the investigation.

A preliminary investigation determined the victim was involved in a family dispute and was subsequently stabbed outside the residence.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Skyler LeFave at (301) 475-4200 extension *1983 or by email at

Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...